May 8, 2016 Subject:
Excellent At Times
An excellent OTR horror series, with some episodes far better than the others, it wasn't so consistently outstanding as other, similar shows of the same period, none the less, at its best it was as good as any of them. It's definitely worth a listen.
December 4, 2012 Subject:
Absolutely outstanding series - the poetry of the gothic era is captured so well.
This brief series really had it all. I love "Escape" so much - but that was mostly geared toward "adventure", with some nods to horror. I liked mid-to-late'50s "Suspense", but that show was (sadly) devoted to crime. insurance fraud/murder stories. "The Weird Circle" was distinct, different and special.
The material is often drawn from classic writers - not just Poe, but Colridge, Du Maurier, many more. This choice of material shows the ambition of the show's creators - they really must have been dedicated to the poetry of horror, not any ritualized violence. The Gothic period, as opposed to Gothic kids at the mall. Sometimes the actors are over-earnest, or very "American" for the material - their intensity matches the material so well.
Like many seasons of "Escape", this show apparently could not find a sponsor. This suits the recordings well, as there is rarely an advertisement to break up the mood. It probably added to the available audio time, allowing for a longer script.
One thing the dedicated listener of 2012 will notice is how strong the female characters of this late '40s show are, as well as the actresses who played them. The show is also a reflection - like the very best shows "Escape"/"Gunsmoke"/early '50s "Suspense" - of how much radio voices, plot lines and daring changed immediately after World War II. I think veterans and their families were ready for darker edgier stuff, most importantly abandoning the sing-song fey radio voices that dominated pre-war radio. This did not mean that radio and it's shows lost their values and became seedy - not at all - they just embraced a stronger tone, a tone that has aged very well indeed.
Best episodes (and there are many):
1. Ancient Mariner.
2. The Goblet.
3. Mad Monkton.
4. The Niche of Doom. (Very affecting and sad.)
5. The Thing in the Tunel (aka Charles Dickens' "Hello Down There"/"The Signalman"
6. The History of Dr. John Faust (sadly, very poor sound, but worth the effort)
7. Passion in the Desert.
8. The Oblong Box.
9. The Horla.
10. The Pistol Shot.
I'm really just scratching the surface. The quality standards of this show were so high - the fact that we know nothing about it beyond that it was the late 1940's only adds to the gothic enigma.
I love this show, and I have no doubt you will love it too.
May 13, 2012 Subject:
Unlike some of the other OTR 'horror' shows, this one often did classic stories. Many OTR shows played with supernatural stories, but would end up with rational explanations. Weird Circle gives the goods.
November 4, 2011 Subject:
A Magnificent Series
Along with Inner Sanctum, Lights Out, and significant portions of Escape and Suspense, this fine series is a direct ancestor of TV's Twilight Zone. Recommended listening for all fans of good horror and sci-fi. The production values, excellent for the 1940s, hold up well today.
November 23, 2010 Subject:
Good sound quality and very good stories
I found these stories very very good. They cover a vast area of ground and you never can tell what is coming along next. I am slightly puzzled by the very Anglo-oriented cast; but that could be down to the use of English Victorian ghost stories.
October 12, 2010 Subject:
Pretty good show but...
This is a solid show, but I'm fairly certain Ernie from Sesame Street introduces it. "In this cave, Bert..."
July 21, 2010 Subject:
Truly an overlooked gem for this genre. I sincerely recommend this to anybody who is a big fan of horror OTR.